Shawn McSweeny
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  • Toronto, ON
  • Canada
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Shawn McSweeny's Discussions

"Happy-Go-Lucky" Transcription
3 Replies

Finding the correct composer was a process, as this is an obscure piece with a popular title.This is not the Grimshaw banjo solo of the same name. Nor is it the HGL galop by Miers, or either of the…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by thereallyniceman May 27.

Dance of the Pirates
4 Replies

Shiver me timbers, mateys, and shake yer booties !!Here's my transcription of "Dance of the Pirates", as played by Vess L. Ossman in the late 1890's, on the National Phonograph Co. (Edison)…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Shawn McSweeny May 25.

Ossman's Arrangement of "Arabia March"
2 Replies

When our third wave and third lock-down arrived, I'd already passed a year making several wood carvings and a banjo. Looking for a change, in the past month or so, I've  transcribed several Ossman…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Shawn McSweeny May 21.

Stephen B. Clements
25 Replies

Just finished another research project that made the last week or so of lock-down go by faster. Thought I'd share with my fellow CB enthusiasts : Stephen B. ClementsClassic Banjoist and Recording…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Shawn McSweeny Apr 30, 2020.

 

Shawn McSweeny's Page

Latest Activity

Shawn McSweeny replied to thereallyniceman's discussion This is the other side of Olly Oakley's record that I posted earlier
"Greetings from Toronto. Yes, very crisp and clearly not Sullivan's Toronto Jig. I have found Zonophone  mislabeled  their recordings from time to time. Check the site's other two Oakley recordings, of TJ. Both properly match…"
Oct 27
Shawn McSweeny replied to thereallyniceman's discussion Vess Ossman at his best!
"The photo of Ossman about 44 seconds in has been circulating on the internet for some time; it originates from c. 1900 recording company promotional material. Is there another photo besides this?"
Jun 16
Shawn McSweeny replied to thereallyniceman's discussion Cubital tunnel syndrome
" A day stacking and burning off a pile of downed tree branches or an afternoon reducing a block of wood with a 3/4 in. gouge puts me in much the same place as Ian and Joel. Arm muscles inflame and go taut. Nerves balk and joints hurt. Rest is…"
May 29
thereallyniceman replied to Shawn McSweeny's discussion "Happy-Go-Lucky" Transcription
"Yes, tedious!  That is the way I approach transcriptions.  Listen over and over and over to attempt to hear all the individual notes in a chord and then work out where they are being played on the fingerboard... then repeat for next…"
May 27
Shawn McSweeny replied to Shawn McSweeny's discussion "Happy-Go-Lucky" Transcription
"My approach is to first digitally improve the original recording as much as possible; the clearer the notes, the better. If needed, pitch is tweaked to match contemporary pitch.  A copy is saved at about half tempo.  That is my working…"
May 26
thereallyniceman replied to Shawn McSweeny's discussion "Happy-Go-Lucky" Transcription
"Another solo that I have never heard before!  I know of George Formby's "Happy Go Lucky Me"..but that is completely different :-) Thanks again Shawn. How do you do the transpositions? Do you use slow down software and find the…"
May 26
Shawn McSweeny posted a discussion

"Happy-Go-Lucky" Transcription

Finding the correct composer was a process, as this is an obscure piece with a popular title.This is not the Grimshaw banjo solo of the same name. Nor is it the HGL galop by Miers, or either of the HGL shottisches by De Coen or Ross. The HGL one step or two step by Lamont looked promising, as the cover art features a banjo-toting pierrot.  But alas, it was another dead end. The piano score for the correct HGL, (penned by F. A. Black in 1899),  appeared on you-tube -Ragtime Dorian- about two…See More
May 26
Shawn McSweeny replied to Shawn McSweeny's discussion Dance of the Pirates
" I have a few more obscure pieces transcribed, as well as familiar ones, if people are interested."
May 25
Trapdoor2 replied to Shawn McSweeny's discussion Dance of the Pirates
"Pirates iz people. We really only know pirates from movies and books. If they're from Penzance, we know they can sing... This is an unknown tune to me too. Thanks, Shawn!"
May 25
Shawn McSweeny replied to Shawn McSweeny's discussion Dance of the Pirates
"Pursuant to another recent discussion : maybe this 1890's composer wasn't thinking cutthroats; perhaps he had gay pirates in mind."
May 24
thereallyniceman replied to Shawn McSweeny's discussion Dance of the Pirates
"Thank you Shawn. I don't think that I have heard this before. I can't picture a band of cutthroat pirates dancing around to it but, not being a pirate, what do I know? I will add it to the MUSIC LIBRARY later."
May 24
Shawn McSweeny posted a discussion

Dance of the Pirates

Shiver me timbers, mateys, and shake yer booties !!Here's my transcription of "Dance of the Pirates", as played by Vess L. Ossman in the late 1890's, on the National Phonograph Co. (Edison) recording, which is here :http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/detail.php?query_type=mms_id&query=9947961846103776&r=15&of=98The piece was written by J.A. Silberberg. He was…See More
May 23
Shawn McSweeny replied to Shawn McSweeny's discussion Ossman's Arrangement of "Arabia March"
"Just trying to meet the high standards on site established by your efforts, Ian.  As for playing to video, the more I practice, the more my left hand complains. We'll see. "
May 21
thereallyniceman replied to Shawn McSweeny's discussion Ossman's Arrangement of "Arabia March"
"Great stuff Shawn!  Thank you for all the work that you have put in to producing these scores for us. I will add them to the MUSIC LIBRARY later.  I used to think that I was a "perfectionist' but compared to your work I am a…"
May 21
Shawn McSweeny posted a discussion

Ossman's Arrangement of "Arabia March"

When our third wave and third lock-down arrived, I'd already passed a year making several wood carvings and a banjo. Looking for a change, in the past month or so, I've  transcribed several Ossman recordings.Here is "Arabia March", transcribed from Ossman's  c.1907 Nassau B-76 recording, which is available from the  "Original Recordings" library.The piece was written by Larry Buck, a "nom de musique" for Laurent Dubuclet, aka Lawrence Duclet. He was a saxophonist, composer and teacher. The…See More
May 20
Shawn McSweeny replied to Steve Harrison's discussion Jolly Darkies (1903)..Karl Bechter
"They look more like South End's Sour Seven, and the only one remotely jolly is not a boy. "
May 10

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Comment Wall (2 comments)

At 2:50pm on February 19, 2014, thereallyniceman gave Shawn McSweeny a gift
Gift
I would like to send Shawn all my thanks for the "LOAD" of work he has done and information and photos he has provided for the recent site upgrade. So everyone, let's give a BIG THANK YOU to Shawn!
At 4:39 on January 21, 2016, Peter LaBau said…

Hi Shawn- sorry to be slow to respond, I only check in here once in a while, all the while knowing I need to do it more frequently! Thanks so much for your note, and it's so nice to know that something I did affected you in a such a positive way. In answer to your question- yes, I have the banjo Doug did for me all those years ago- in fact, he did the banjo twice for me. Th original inlay patterns he did on the fingerboard had to be thrown away- the fret scale was off, and it never played in tune. As beautiful as it was, I had to replace the fingerboard, and in so doing I went from a flat board to a radiused one, which is what I have on all my instruments now. The flat inlays couldn't be moved over, so for the longest time, I had just the pear bars that descended from the nut, and the rest of the board was just blank. Two years ago, I sent the banjo neck back to Doug to have him add bars up at the top of the board, and add in some position markers in between. Here's what it looks like now:

 The pot is a 1910's Tubaphone- 11-1/2" diameter, and the neck is a 28" scale. I have another pot like this that I'm having Kevin Enoch make a new neck for- I'll use that one for raised "D" bass- I use two banjos when I perform- I find that retuning just one instrument never works out real well- the bass string keeps changing after changing pitches. You're Canandian, right? Toronto? It would be fun to meet up one day- I'll hope that might happen. All the best to you- Peter

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